Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Make your own body scrub

It's so so so easy to make your own luscious body scrub that will leave your skin super smooth and moisturized.

There are many ingredients sitting in your kitchen that you can use, depending on your skin type and preferences. Let me list them out:

Oils - If you have dry skin, or feel that you need some good moisturization, then you need to scrub with an oil based scrub. You can use any type of food-grade oil, but you may want to pick those that do not have a strong offensive smell. One of the best oils to use is virgin coconut oil and virgin olive oil as these are easily available and have a pleasant or tolerable smell. Make sure to use the 'virgin' grades as these are the best, but the normal ones will do as well. You can also add the more expensive oils in smaller amounts, oils like sweet almond oil, wheatgerm oil, walnut oil, hazelnut oil, rose hip oil, evening primrose oil, vitamin E oil, etc.

Exfoliates/ Abrasive Agents - Exfoliates are another basic ingredient in body scrubs as they gently rub away dry skin and gives you the silky-smooth effect. There are gentle exfoliates and there are the rougher ones, depending on what your skin can tolerate. Gentle exfoliates include oats (great for sensitive skin, it's my fav!), clays, rice flour or any other type of grain flour (try to get the unpolished version if possible) and mashed fruits...yes fruits! Consider tomatoes, bananas, apples, orange pulp, grapes (get the ones with seeds), strawberries....virtually any fruit which you can mash or grind to a pulp. For those that juice a lot, you can save the fiber part of the fruits, add that to some yogurt, milk or oil and scrub away! Mid-range abrasive agents include crushed nuts like almonds, walnuts, etc, and very finely ground riced grains (just blend them in your dry blender), finely ground sugar, baking soda, ground barley, finely ground coffee beans (said to be good to reduce cellulite, instant coffee does not count!)...basically any food item that you can grind down. Rougher abrasive agents include coarsely ground sugar, and coarsely ground anything stated above and salt (do not use salt if you have open cuts and wounds as it will burn to the high heavens :0 ).

Additives - Yogurt, milk, cream, coconut milk, honey, aloe vera, food-grade colouring and flavoring, and essential oils can be added as well depending on your personal preferences. Use essential oils (EO's) sparingly, about 7 drops per 200g of body scrub is safe and will give you the benefits as well as the wonderful aroma lingering on your skin. Lavender EO is relaxing, Geranium EO is balancing, Sweet Orange/ Lemon/Lime EOs are uplifting and Peppermint EO is invigorating and soothing to tired muscles. Other essential oils can be used as well as long as you avoid the herbal ones (like Thyme, Pepper, Rosemary, Cinnamon,etc) as these can cause skin sensitivity. Ginger oil can be used but use it sparingly as it is hot!

Basic Recipe Guidelines

Basic Ratio of ingredients: 1 part oil to 1 part abrasive agent. But you can always vary this according to your preference. Some like more oils, some like a good, hard scrub.  Some may prefer an oil-less scrub. You don't always have to weigh out the ingredients though. You can just mix them up in a small bowl enough for one application, and try out the result then vary it for later applications. Rule of thumb, it is good to always try out any ingredient you want to use on a small patch of your skin and see if you react negatively to it. This way, you will avoid major bodily harm! For those with dry skin, you should use an oil-based body scrub after you have rinsed off the soap, and just rinsing off the scrub with warm water. This way, the oils will stay on your skin and will have more time to be absorbed. You may want to this routine just before bed. 

Below is my recipe for the brown sugar body scrubs I used to sell. (Substitutes for ingredients in brackets)

  • 140g moderately ground brown sugar
  • 12ml grapeseed oil
  • 40ml virgin coconut oil
  • 1ml wheatgerm oil
  • 2ml glycerin/ (honey - a good skin hydrator)
  • 2ml of food grade flavoring (strawberry/ orange/ blueberry/ rose/ lemon/ chocolate, etc)
  • up to 10 drops of essential oils (lavender/ sweet orange/ lemon/ geranium/ palmarosa/ vanilla/ peppermint, etc)
Mix all ingredients together and keep in a clean air-tight jar. Scoop out a tablespoon or 2 each time you want a scrub. Make sure you use a clean spoon and avoid any water contamination. 

Alternatively, you can use just one type of oil as well if that's all you have. The essential oils can be bought from 360 Beauty (see link under Link Lists).

If you know of any other great scrub ingredient that is not listed above, please contribute in the comments section, Thanks!


  1. Great article! How long will the scrubs last and what preservatives did you use? I want something that I don't have to remake every week.
    Thank you!

  2. For the above amount of ingredients, and with a once a week use, the scrubs should last about a month. If you're using coconut oil, you will not need preservatives as the oil is naturally preserving. Even if you're using other natural oils, as long as you keep water out of the jar, it should be okay for a 1 month period. It's best to make in small batches to ensure the freshness and integrity of the ingredients used so that they can benefit your skin most.

  3. Hi. What did you use to make the blueberry / strawberry scrubs? Thanks!